Paul Biya wears face mask for the first time in public

By NewsWatch Staff Writer

Heavily criticised for not wearing face masks during Unity Palace audiences since the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the country, President Paul Biya was last week seen putting on a face mask.

The President and wife Chantal put on protective masks during corpse removal of the late elder sister of the Head of State, Bidjang nee Ngonda Regine, at the Yaounde General Hospital on Thursday November 12.

Clothed in black, the presidential couple accompanied by some family members also attended a requiem mass officiated by the Archbishop of Yaounde, Mgr Jean Mbarga. The body of Ngonda Regine will later be ferried to her native Mvomeka where she was buried on Friday November 13.

It was the first time the 87-year-old Biya who clocked 38 years as president of the Republic was seen in public with a face mask which is compulsory in the country.

Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 in the country in March, the Head of State had never been seen with a face masks even when receiving guests at the nation’s Presidential palace.

President Biya’s public appearance in protective mask comes amidst reports of a second wave of COVID-19 cases in the country. Last week, authorities announced that some 25 students and teachers in Douala in the Littoral region had been tested positive of the virus and were being isolated.

The Head of State who had been away in his native Mvomeka for the past weeks arrived Yaounde on the eve of the corpse removal of his deceased elder sister. His appearance at the hospital also sent a strong message to his detractors who had been spreading false information about his death. The social media had been flooded with news of the president death lately with some saying his body had been preserved in a morgue in the nation’s capital and others saying he had been buried while authorities were preparing his son, Frank Biya to be sworn-in as next president of the country.

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